6s vs South Bank 7s – 29.09.18
Merton 6s V South Bank 7s
A single game into the seaon, we find ourselves back in the SAL cup, City of London forfeited the previous cup game to both us and our opposition, it’s now a game to find out who will top the mini league for a Q-F place, or the payoff against either Civ 7s or Park 8s.
A sunny day brings another 12oc ko, squad rolls in with Martin in goal, back four of Matt H, Joe D, Tom J, Steve B, midfield of Andrew D right, Lyndon C and Steve H centre, Reese S left, Captain David G just behind Grant S for 4-4-1-1 formation
SB7s kick off and keep possession well, passing around the back, M6s hold with the 2 banks of 4. Any pressing from SB7 is soon cut out and the opening stages are cagy
After the first ten minutes or so pass, M6s grow in confidence, back 4 looking comfortable and once again break up any SB7s attack, Tom J releases Matt down the wing, a power pass to David brings on a back-heel flick between the SB7s centre backs to Grant for the first M6s attack which ends in a corner. Said Corner is whipped into the back post, the 50/50 challenge is cleared by SB7s, but any counter is soon stopped by Tom J and Steve B
With the opening 20 minutes passing by quickly, good play by the centre pairing of Lynden & Steve H keeps M6s on the front foot, Reese down the left is having most of the play, and is instrumental in most of the attacks, a good build up play is cut out on the SB7s left, an excellent counter attack from back to front, sees SB7s fluent passing rewarded with a well-deserved goal, be it against the run of play
Not deterred, M6s get back on the attack, David, Grant & Reese all unlucky not to bring the game level keep probing away, however a good cross to David see the SB7s centre back handle the ball inside the area and after a slight hesitation from the Ref, penalty is awarded. David steps up and places the ball just far enough away from the diving keeper to bring the game level, 1-1
Still on top, M6s keep probing, but once again, SB7s break away, Martin, having another good game in goal, finds himself 1v1, the chip beats Martin and looks destined to put SB7s up until Steve B somehow manages to get back and clear the ball over the cross bar from what looked like a yard out!!
Advancing forward, a throw in deep in the SB7s half, sees Reese launch the throw directly into the oppositions 6 yard area, with his back to goal, Grant manages to swivel and place his shot in to the top corner to bring the game 2-1 to M6s
Halftime, a few words from the captain and some changes to keep it fresh see 2 new players make there entry, Matt H makes way for Faycal ‘Fizzy’ Radjoul at right back, Steve H for Leo S on the left wing, with Reese moving infield
M6s start the game as they finished the first half, very much on top with some good opening pressure. A SB7s attack down the right is again countered and he ball comes to Steve B, advancing forward, Steve picks David out with a curling cross, which is flicked on by the captain into the path of Grant, adjusting himself as the ball drops, a sweet volley from the best part of 30 yards see the keeper rooted to the spot as the ball sails into the top corner, a worthy goal of the season contender
3-1 up and cruising, but SB7s are still in the game, a change of formation with a holding midfielder seems to unsettle the M6s, the counter attacks seems to be getting more frequent and its not long before more neat football from SB7s brings the score to 3-2
The sucker punch knocks the 6s, now looking tired and hanging on for the victory, another attack and the game becomes level as Martin is beaten by either a lucky deflection or a great back heel, either way, the ball finds the back of the net for 3-3
Ref signals for the last 10 minutes, many players are now running on empty, Grant on for a hattrick is unfortunate to pull up with calf strain soon after going 1v1, Matt H replaces him up top
The game is slowly ticking away when SB7s break down the left wing, ‘Fizzy’ is faced up with the young striker who drops a shoulder and skips passed, but is seemingly going nowhere, but Fizzy makes a lunge for the ball, gets contact, but at the cost of going through the player, the ref has no choice but to award a penalty,
Although going the right way, the ball is tucked away into the bottom corner for 3-4… what a comeback, what a capitulation by M6s who had seemed to have this in the bag
Out of time, SB7s run out winners, on the day, it would seem the changes in both personal effected the result in different ways, so it would seem the now M6s are scheduled to play a playoff in January to see if they can still make the Q-finals
Next week, its back in league action against HSBC 6s away, a game that needs to see a change of fortunes for the not so mighty yellows
MOTM: Tight call between Grant and his excellent debut up front, and Tom J, who nicks it with another solid performance and so far become Mr Reliable for the out of sorts 6s
DOTD: A debut to forget for Fizzy after lunging in and giving away a late penalty that sealed the 6s doom
Team: Martin, Matt H, tom J, Joe D, Steve B, Andrew D, Steve H, Lynden C, Reese S, David ©, Grant S
Faycal ‘Fizzy’ Radjoul, Leo S.